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    Caballeros 1999-2001, Crossmen 2002, Jersey Surf staff 2004, Spirit of Newark/NJ staff 2007
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  1. DCI Finals Beer Pairing

    Other food items we prepared or guests brought along: Blue Devil cocktail Boston Crusaders - Lucifer beer and witch's hat veggie spread Blue Star-Crossed Lovers Focaccia Bread Santa Clara Vanguard serpent sandwich
  2. August 12, 2017 vs. August 13, 2016 2017 Blue Devils earned its 18th world championship with a decisive win and the greatest score increase of the night at 0.425 points. The only other corps to improve its score night over night was The Cavaliers, which moved up a spot from #5 to #4. This was one of the two higher probability changes that yesterday's analysis considered although it was the first time in 16 meetings this year The Cavaliers bested Bluecoats. Phantom Regiment saw its score decrease most (-1.762). Season-ending Tidbits: Blue Devils have not placed below 2nd in the Lucas Oil Stadium era (2009-present). Santa Clara Vanguard finished in its highest placement since 1999 when it shared the gold medal with Blue Devils. Carolina Crown finished in a medalist spot for the third year in a row, the first time in the corps' history it has achieved this status and only the third corps to do this in the Lucas Oil Stadium era (Blue Devils, Bluecoats). Bluecoats continued the trend of champions (other than Blue Devils) falling a bit in the year after. With a 5th place finish, the corps matches Carolina Crown's path with its first championship in 2013 and a 5th place finish in 2014. Boston Crusaders had its highest finish since 2003 and achieved the greatest movement from 12th place since Crossmen went 12 to 7 in 1989-90. The Cadets had its lowest finish since 1981. Phantom Regiment tied its lowest finish in the Lucas Oil Stadium era (2009). Blue Stars were a finalist for the fifth year in a row, the corps' longest streak since leaving top 12 status in 1980. This was the fourth year in a row in finals for Crossmen, its longest streak since being knocked out in 2005. With 39 corps participating, this was the largest DCI championships event since 2011 when 41 corps competed. Corps participating in 2017 that were not there in 2011: Southwind, Impulse, Shadow, Guardians, Louisiana Stars, River City Rhythm, Gold. Corps participating in 2011 that were not there in 2017: Glassmen, Teal Sound, Revolution, Forte, Racine Scouts, Blue Saints, Spirit of Newark/New Jersey. Trend Analysis: This statistic looks at how much above or below its Lucas Oil Stadium average a corps placed this season. The higher the number, the further above its historical average the corps did. Trending up in 2017 (2+ positions) Mandarins (5.9) Legends (5.6) Music City (3.6) Vanguard Cadets (3.4) Santa Clara Vanguard (2.7) Boston Crusaders (2.6) Crossmen (2.4) Trending down in 2017 (2+ positions) Pioneer (-5.6) Jersey Surf (-3.6) The Cadets (-3.0) Les Stentors (-2.7) Troopers (-2.6) Spirit of Atlanta (-2.3) Phantom Regiment (-2.3) Pacific Crest (-2.3) Colt Cadets (-2.3) Trending up 3 years in a row (2017, 2016, 2015): Blue Knights (0.9, 1.9, 2.9) Genesis (1.7, 1.7, 2.7) Crossmen (2.4, 3.4, 1.4) Music City (3.6, 0.6, 0.6) Legends (5.6, 3.6, 2.6) Trending down 3 years in a row: Pioneer (-5.6, -1.6, -1.6) Jersey Surf (-3.6, -2.6, -4.6) Les Stentors (-2.7, -1.7, -0.7) Spirit of Atlanta (-2.3, -5.3, -2.3) Phantom Regiment (-2.3, -1.3, -0.3) Pacific Crest (-2.3, -0.3, -2.3) Colt Cadets (-2.3, -2.3, -0.3) Gold (-0.2, -1.2, -5.2) 2016 Bluecoats earned its 1st world championship. Three corps finished within half a point of victory: Bluecoats (97.650), Blue Devils (97.250), and Carolina Crown (97.088). Santa Clara Vanguard had the greatest score increase (0.412 points) while The Academy decreased most (-1.125). There were no placement changes from Friday to Saturday.
  3. 2017 World Championships Finals - Aug 12

    Awesome! Thanks for that clarification. Does that mean music takes out brass/percussion too, then?
  4. 2017 World Championships Finals - Aug 12

    While I like the way you are thinking, I'm not sure if the Visual caption is within reach. Blue Devils won 29.425 to 29.3 at Prelims and 29.375 to 29.225 at Semis for an average of 29.4 to 29.2625. If my math is right, that means Santa Clara Vanguard would have to beat them by 0.275 in the caption tonight just to tie and that seems unlikely to me. This assumes that guard is included in the Visual Caption for this award although I don't know for sure if that's the case.
  5. August 11, 2017 vs. August 12, 2016 2017 The largest score increase went to Blue Stars (1.425) with 4 Open Class (Blue Devils B, Legends, Music City, Spartans) and 1 World Class corps (The Cadets) seeing their scores decrease. There were only two placement changes from Prelims: The Academy beat Colts to finish at #14 and Spirit of Atlanta beat Blue Devils B to finish at #18. Both changes were listed in the possibilities based on 2016 trends. What was not predicted accurately was the rate of change. In 2016, the highest increase from Thursday to Friday was 0.700; in 2015, it was 0.925. Last night, it was 1.425. Season-ending tidbits: Mandarins had its best finish ever at #13 and its highest World Class championships score at 85.550. The corps has scored higher but only on the old Division II/III sheets.The corps' previous high placement was #16 in 2001. In addition to winning Open Class championships for the 5th time, Vanguard Cadets tied its highest ever finish in World Class at #16, which was the corps' placement in 2015. Pacific Crest matched its previous lowest placement at #21. Since first competing at DCI Championships in 2003, the corps has placed #21 three times: 2006, 2015 and 2017. Legends had its best finish ever at #22 along with its highest World Class score at 76.225. The corps' previous high placement was #24 in 2016. Music City had its best finish ever at #24 along with its highest World Class score at 74.272. The corps' previous high placement was #25 in 2013. 2016 The highest positive score change was only 0.700. Fourteen of the 25 competing corps had scores decrease with Legends "leading" the way at -2.825. The Cavaliers passed The Cadets to take the #5 spot. Boston Crusaders picked up the big win by moving up to #12 by defeating Madison Scouts. Genesis moved ahead of Legends to finish at #23. Comparison As has been the case all season long, scores are higher this year. The #1 seeded corps is 0.849 points higher this year. The #12 corps is 0.950 point higher. Even the #25 corps is higher by 2.000 points. Year-over-Year Trend-Based Predictions It's important to note that the 2017 increases at Semifinals were higher than 2016 so the direct comparison may not be accurate. However, it is still fun so here goes. In 2016, the highest score increase from Friday to Saturday was 0.412 (Santa Clara Vanguard). I If we assume for argument's sake that that is the most anyone will improve tonight, let's play out some possible scenarios of corps that are within striking distance of movement. Santa Clara Vanguard could tie (!) Blue Devils for the gold medal. The Cavaliers could move to #4 (which would move Bluecoats to #5). In 2015, the highest score increase from Friday to Saturday was 1.150 (Bluecoats and Crossmen). If we assume that increase, all kinds of opportunities open up. Santa Clara Vanguard could move to #1 (which would move Blue Devils to #2). Carolina Crown could move to #2 (which would move Santa Clara Vanguard to #3). The Cavaliers could move to #4 (which would move Bluecoats to #5). Blue Knights could move to #7 (which would move The Cadets to #8). Phantom Regiment could move to #8 (which would move Blue Knights to #9). Blue Stars could move to #9 (which would move Phantom Regiment to #10). Crossmen could move to #10 (which would move Blue Stars to #11). So if we combine all of these considerations (and ignore the possibility of scores going down and a million other variables), here is a predicted range of finish: Blue Devils: 1-2 Santa Clara Vanguard: 1-3 Carolina Crown: 2-3 Bluecoats: 4-5 The Cavaliers: 4-5 Boston Crusaders: 6 The Cadets: 7-8 Blue Knights: 7-9 Phantom Regiment: 8-10 Blue Stars: 9-11 Crossmen: 10-11 Madison Scouts: 12 Based on season histories (within these ranges only), here's some additional information: Gold Medal - Blue Devils is 13-0 vs. Santa Clara Vanguard. Silver Medal - Santa Clara Vanguard is 12-0 vs. Carolina Crown. Bronze Medal - Carolina Crown 4th Place - Bluecoats is 15-0 vs. The Cavaliers 5th Place - The Cavaliers 6th Place - Boston Crusaders 7th Place - The Cadets is 10-0 vs. Blue Knights. 8th Place - Blue Knights is 12-4 vs. Phantom Regiment. 9th Place - Phantom Regiment is 9-0 vs. Blue Stars. 10th Place - Blue Stars is 9-5 vs. Crossmen. 11th Place - Crossmen 12th Place - Madison Scouts So in order for Santa Clara Vanguard to pull off the win, it would need to channel the 2008 Phantom Regiment who lost 16-1 to Blue Devils with that 1 being in championships. Note the gap between the two corps was 0.375 at Prelims and 0.025 at Semifinals. Interestingly, the only other show Blue Devils lost in 2006 was DCI East to The Cavaliers who finished in 3rd at championships.
  6. DCI Finals Beer Pairing

    There's food too....
  7. DCI Finals Beer Pairing

    Fair enough. These will be shared by the 10 people coming to the party! Still may be a challenge though.
  8. I host an annual DCI Finals viewing party and for the second year have attempted to purchase a beer to go with each finalist corps as part of a tasting. I look for beers that in some way connect to the corps, the corps' location, and/or the show concept if I can. Some work out better than others, but I thought you may be interested in seeing this year's line-up. *Disclaimer* This assumes Madison Scouts retain its #12 position. Should the Mandarins or another corps slide in, I'll happily make a run to the store in the morning! In order of appearance:Madison Scouts - Last Man Standing paired with Huntsman by Czig Meister There's a whole lot of hunting going on when Madison performs this year! Who will be the last man standing at the end of this heavy-duty tasting? Crossmen - Engima paired with No Limits by Two Roads After the enigmatic journey, Crossmen breaks through the limits life puts in its way. Blue Stars - Star Crossed Lovers paired with My Bloody Valentine Ale by AleSmith A dark twist on the Blue Stars show. Phantom Regiment - Phantasm paired with Cinnsanity by Weyerbacher This represents the insanity part of the show when madness grips the Phantom Regiment. Blue Knights - i paired with Big Eye by Ballast Point I mean, it's called "Big Eye." The Cadets - The Faithful, The Fallen, The Forgiven paired with Judgment Day Ale by The Lost Abbey This can take on different meanings depending on your take. It certainly fits in the show theme, but is there also a judgment day coming if there a 7th place finish? Boston Crusaders - Wicked Games paired with Witch's Wit by The Lost Abbey This one is pretty straight ahead. The Cavaliers - Men Are From Mars paired with Blithering Idiot by Weyerbacher This is an homage to the "man speaks" portion of the show. Bluecoats - Jagged Line paired with Line St. Pilsner by Weyerbacher Another straight-ahead one. Carolina Crown - It Is paired with Derailed Ale by Erie Brewing Company As the show progresses, the lines (aka the expected path) move in all sorts of new directions. Santa Clara Vanguard - Ouroboros paired with Dragon's Milk by New Holland Brewing A dragon was the closest I could find to a serpent! Blue Devils - Metamorph paired with Blueberry Ale by Blue Point This was selected for the tagline on the box - "Seductively sweet" and "mischievously balanced" The Abita Amber is there just because it had a marching band on the label.
  9. August 10, 2017 vs. August 11, 2016 2017 Genesis put up the only 2+ score increase (2.425). The most anticipated aspect of World Class Prelims is seeing where the Open Class corps stack up. Vanguard Cadets moved up to the #16 spot overall with Blue Devils B at #18, Legends at #22, Music City at #24 and Spartans closing out the Semifinals qualifiers at #25. That means that 3 World Class corps did not make it to Friday's competition: Seattle Cascades (#26), Jersey Surf (#27), and Pioneer (#33). Seattle Cascades, #26, missed Semifinals by only 0.225 points. Colts defeated The Academy for the first time in 7 meetings this season. This is quite a turn as just 3 days earlier The Academy led by 1.375 points in head-to-head competition. Blue Stars beat Crossmen for the first time since July 15. Blue Stars now lead the season series 8 to 5. Season-ending tidbits: In its second year of DCI world championships competition, Louisiana Stars improved 3 places to #28. Southwind returned to DCI championships competition for the first time since 2007, finishing at #31. At #33, Pioneer had its lowest finish since joining the World Class ranks in 1993. 2016 Seattle Cascades (4.088), Phantom Regiment (3.400), Pacific Crest (3.225), and Blue Knights (3.075) all put up 3+ point increases while Colt Cadets (-3.900), Shadow (-2.875), 7th Regiment (-2.463), and Les Stentors (-2.025) all saw decreases of 3+ points. Santa Clara Vanguard reclaimed the #5 spot over The Cadets. Madison Scouts hold the lead over Boston Crusaders for the last finalist spot by a 0.788 margin. On the Open Class front, 5 corps qualified to move on to World Class Semifinals: Blue Devils B (#15), Vanguard Cadets (#20), Legends (#23), Genesis (#24), and Spartans (#25). Two World Class corps did not qualify: Jersey Surf (#26) and Pioneer (#29). Comparison Compared to 2016, scores at Prelims were very stable this year with only 3 corps seeing a score swing of more than 2 points. Last year, there were 16 corps in this category. The fight for gold felt really close last year with 3 corps battling it out and that is the case this year as well. In fact, Santa Clara Vanguard is closer to Blue Devils (0.362) than Blue Devils were to Bluecoats (0.625). Carolina Crown is just about the same distance back as it was last year (0.999 in '17; 0.962 in '16). Just for fun, let's apply last year's Semifinals trends to this year. The corps that improved the most in score from Thursday to Friday was Blue Knights, with a 0.700 point increase. If we assume for argument's sake that that is the most anyone will improve tonight, let's play out some possible scenarios of corps that are within striking distance of movement. Santa Clara Vanguard could move to #1 (which would move Blue Devils to #2). Carolina Crown could move to #2 (which would move Santa Clara Vanguard to #3). The Cavaliers could move to #4 (which would move Bluecoats to #5). Crossmen could move to #10 (which would move Blue Stars to #11). The Academy could move to #14 (which would move Colts to #15). Troopers could move to #16 (which would move Vanguard Cadets to #17). Spirit of Atlanta could move to #18 (which would move Blue Devils B to #19). Genesis could move to #22 (which would move Legends to #23). Spartans could move to #24 (which would move Music City to #25). For even more fun, let's go back to Semifinals in 2015. The corps that improved the most from Thursday to Friday was Blue Devils, without a penalty, was Vanguard Cadets, with a 0.925 point increase. If we assume that increase, here are some additional possibilities: Boston Crusaders could move into a tie for #5 with The Cavaliers. Blue Stars could move to #9 (which would move Phantom Regiment to #10). Colts could move to #13 (which would move Mandarins to #14). Blue Devils B could move to #17 (which would move Troopers to #18). Pacific Crest could move to #20 (which would move Oregon Crusaders to #21). So if we combine all of these considerations (and ignore the possibility of scores going down and a million other variables), here is a predicted range of finish: Blue Devils: 1-2 Santa Clara Vanguard: 1-3 Carolina Crown: 2-3 Bluecoats: 4-5 The Cavaliers: 4-5 Boston Crusaders: 6 The Cadets: 7 Blue Knights: 8 Phantom Regiment: 9-10 Blue Stars: 9-11 Crossmen: 10-11 Madison Scouts: 12 Mandarins: 13-14 Colts: 13-15 The Academy: 14-15 Vanguard Cadets: 16-17 Troopers: 16-18 Blue Devils B: 17-19 Spirit of Atlanta: 18-19 Oregon Crusaders: 20-21 Pacific Crest: 20-21 Legends: 22-23 Genesis: 22-23 Music City: 24-25 Spartans: 24-25
  10. Thank you for the positive feedback and comments of appreciation. It's a labor of love that helps me feel more connected to the season. This year, I was able to attend six live events (Massillon, OH; Michigan City, IN; Pasadena, CA; Chester, PA; Allentown, PA x2), both movie theater broadcasts, and I have the season-long FloMarching subscription so I guess my fandom is pretty intense. Doing this helps with perspective and looking up the historical information is a lot of fun. I feel like it adds to the depth of enjoyment for me and, I'm glad to hear, for some of you as well. I'll be back with 3 more posts!
  11. August 8, 2017 vs. August 9, 2016 2017 Somewhat surprisingly, scores increased quite a bit for a finals competition with three corps moving up 2+ points: 7th Regiment (2.175), Gold (72.750), and Southwind (2.125) and no corps decreasing in score. This had an effect on relative placements compared to World Class corps. It will be interesting to see how that all shakes out on Thursday. The only in show placement change from prelims was Southwind defeating Guardians. Last Night's Storylines: Will Vanguard Cadets hold off Blue Devils B to win its 5th DCI Open Class championship? Yes! Will Legends hold off Music City to tie its best Open Class finish ever (3rd in 2016). Yes! Even in 4th place, Music City is poised for its best finish ever at 4th place in Open Class. The previous high water mark was 5th place in 2013. Music City finished in 4th place. The Spartans are a rare corps that took a year off to regroup in 2009 and came back as strong or stronger than ever. Since then, the corps has never placed lower than 5th in Open Class and is on track to maintain that standing this year. Status maintained. In only its second year competing at Open Class championships, Louisiana Stars is positioned for its highest placement ever at #6. In its only previous appearance, the corps placed 9th. This wound up being the case and the corps won "Most Improved" for the second year in a row. Guardians is looking to make its first appearance in the top 10 after placing 11th in its first visit to the big show last year Guardians dropped from #10 to #11 in finals. 2016 Blue Devils B maintained its lead and won the DCI Open Class championship. There were no placement changes within the competition.
  12. August 7, 2017 vs. August 8, 2016 2017 Generally speaking, scores stabilized or decreased at Open Class prelims compared to the last regular season scores and went up more in the World Class corps. This is not the same as what happened last year where it was the other way around. In head-to-head competition, Vanguard Cadets edged Blue Devils B by almost 1.300 points, its largest margin of victory of the season. Les Stentors put up the largest score increase in the circuit at 5.600. There were several non head-to-head rankings changes that will be flushed out once everyone is on the same field on Thursday. It may be notable that the top corps in the Erie, PA show had larger score increases than anyone at the Massillon, OH show. Congratulations to Southwind which made Open Class finals in its first year in championship week competition since 2007. The other 9 finalist corps were all there last year as well. Southwind takes the place of Genesis, which moved to World Class this year. For the second year in a row, and the second time in two appearances, Shadow just missed the finalist cut by placing 13th. Last Night's Storylines: It is day 1 of Finals Week! The main story has to be Blue Devils B vs. Vanguard Cadets in the fight for the gold medal. The two corps account for 8 of the last 9 Open Class championships (Oregon Crusaders in 2012 is the exception). There is also a fight for the bronze medal with Legends and Music City neck and neck. Vanguard Cadets have made a strong case for the gold medal. Legends also has a pretty good lead over Music City for the bronze. Tonight is the final pre-Indianapolis opportunity for corps to make statements. The top 7 (minus Blue Devils) are head-to-head. No changes in placement. The most significant scoring changes were Carolina Crown closing in on Santa Clara Vanguard and The Cadets closing in on Boston Crusaders. Tonight's Storylines: Will Vanguard Cadets hold off Blue Devils B to win its 5th DCI Open Class championship? Will Legends hold off Music City to tie its best Open Class finish ever (3rd in 2016). Even in 4th place, Music City is poised for its best finish ever at 4th place in Open Class. The previous high water mark was 5th place in 2013. The Spartans are a rare corps that took a year off to regroup in 2009 and came back as strong or stronger than ever. Since then, the corps has never placed lower than 5th in Open Class and is on track to maintain that standing this year. In only its second year competing at Open Class championships, Louisiana Stars is positioned for its highest placement ever at #6. In its only previous appearance, the corps placed 9th. Guardians is looking to make its first appearance in the top 10 after placing 11th in its first visit to the big show last year 2016 Several of the top Open Class corps came out with big score increases in Indianapolis: Vanguard Cadets (4.350), Blue Devils B (3.863), 7th Regiment (3.775), Music City (3.300), Les Stentors (3.250), Colt Cadets (3.175), etc. On the World Class front, scores leveled off or even decreased for several corps. The Cadets beat Santa Clara Vanguard by 0.025 in head-to-head competition and the scores of the top 3 were separated by only 0.500.
  13. Cadets 2017

    My school district had the pleasure of hosting The Cadets for a few hours last week. Good coverage in our local newspaper as well.
  14. August 6, 2017 vs. August 7, 2016 2017 No changes in rankings. Score increases/decreases were very small, just like last year. The most significant change was Genesis going down by 1.175 points. In the medal hunt, Blue Devils had the best night as it opened up its lead over Santa Clara Vanguard ever so slightly. Bluecoats also cut down on the gap with Carolina Crown. Across shows, The Cavaliers gained some ground on Bluecoats as well. Last Night's Storylines: From my view on the 50-yard-line, it felt like Boston Crusaders were on the rise and The Cavaliers were not at the top of its game last night in Allentown. As the top of the bill tonight, can Boston Crusaders make a case for the top 5? That did not happen at this show and the gap to get up to the top 5 may be too large to overcome at this point. Blue Stars are closer to Phantom Regiment than they have been all season. Phantom Regiment has not placed in double digits since 1986. Even at its current position of #9, it would tie as the corps' lowest placement in 3 decades with 2009. Phantom Regiment gained another 0.125 of breathing room. Mandarins get a chance to make a statement head-to-head with Madison Scouts. Will Madison Scouts cement its lead or will there be a battle this week to see who will be the last corps standing? (See what I did there?) Madison Scouts opened up its lead in the battle for #12 by another 0.325 points. Tonight's Storylines: It is day 1 of Finals Week! The main story has to be Blue Devils B vs. Vanguard Cadets in the fight for the gold medal. The two corps account for 8 of the last 9 Open Class championships (Oregon Crusaders in 2012 is the exception). There is also a fight for the bronze medal with Legends and Music City neck and neck. Tonight is the final pre-Indianapolis opportunity for corps to make statements. The top 7 (minus Blue Devils) are head-to-head. 2016 The Cadets moved ahead of The Cavaliers in head-to-head competition. Across shows, Madison Scouts moved into the #12 spot over Boston Crusaders.
  15. August 5, 2017 vs. August 6, 2016 2017 The 3 2+ point score increases all came in one show: 7th Regiment (5.250), Music City (4.513), and Southwind (3.550). Les Stentors decreased 5.650 points. The only world class corps to move more than 1 spot in the rankings was Pacific Crest, which dropped from #20 to #23 while not in competition. Last Night's Storylines: The currently ranked #4-#8 are all on tonight. Can The Cavaliers further close the gap with Carolina Crown? Can The Cadets overtake Boston Crusaders and reclaim a spot in the top 6? Will Madison Scouts make a run at Crossmen for #11? The Cavaliers did not close the gap as its score stayed exactly the same from its previous competition. Boston Crusaders increased 0.388 versus The Cadets' improvement of 0.338. Crossmen expanded its lead over Madison Scouts. Then there are the across night questions. Where does Santa Clara Vanguard end up relative to Blue Devils heading to Indianapolis? Are Bluecoats really in medal contention now or will Carolina Crown move up to #3? Crossmen have been beating Blue Stars. If that continues, is there a tight 3-way race for #9? Santa Clara Vanguard finished 0.513 points behind Blue Devils, slightly closer than the average difference between the two corps but not nearly as close as Santa Clara Vanguard was a week ago. Carolina Crown seems to have the edge. Blue Stars scored higher in Allentown and both Blue Stars and Crossmen seem to be within striking distance of Phantom Regiment. There could be some interesting competition in this grouping. Tonight's Storylines: Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard are head-to-head for the first time in a week. What's the real separation between the two heading into Indianapolis? Carolina Crown made up some ground with Santa Clara Vanguard in head-to-head competition last night in Allentown. Are we looking at a 2 or 3 corps fight to the finish? From my view on the 50-yard-line, it felt like Boston Crusaders were on the rise and The Cavaliers were not at the top of its game last night in Allentown. As the top of the bill tonight, can Boston Crusaders make a case for the top 5? Blue Stars are closer to Phantom Regiment than they have been all season. Phantom Regiment has not placed in double digits since 1986. Even at its current position of #9, it would tie as the corps' lowest placement in 3 decades with 2009. Mandarins get a chance to make a statement head-to-head with Madison Scouts. Will Madison Scouts cement its lead or will there be a battle this week to see who will be the last corps standing? (See what I did there?) 2016 Several corps put up big score increases: River City Rhythm (6.650), Genesis (5.850), Les Stentors (4.050), Shadow (3.188) and 5 more with 2+ point increases. With both nights of Allentown complete, there was a 3-way race for the gold medal with less than 0.400 separating Bluecoats, Blue Devils, and Carolina Crown. Nothing in the top 12 would change from Allentown to finals. Comparison Last year, there were several extremely tight races coming out of DCI East yet none of them led to placement changes at finals. #1 through #3 were separated by only 0.362 points, #4 through #6 were separated by only 0.449 points. #7 through #9 were separated by 0.200 points and there was the 0.050 margin between #12 and #13. This year's #2 corps is further from #1 than last year's #3 corps was at the same time yet we still have 3 corps within about a point at the top, which is not something to ignore. There's a tight race in the #6-#7 range with separation of only 0.350. There's another tight race in the #9-#11 range with a separation of 0.850. Mandarins would need to close a 1.275 point gap to get into finals. There hasn't been much movement since San Antonio, so much of this information remains the same. If the season ended today, there would be several notable finishes related to the Top 12: Santa Clara Vanguard last finished in the top 2 in 1999 when it won the championship. Bluecoats moving from 1 to 4 in a season would add it to a long list of DCI champions who follow up a championship year with a 4th place or lower finish. In fact, this has been the case 17 out 44 times (39%). The most recent first-time champion, 2013 Carolina Crown, finished in 5th place in 2014. Amazingly, this has been the case only once for Blue Devils (1986-87) despite its 17 opportunities to follow up a championship. Boston Crusaders would finish in 6th place, its highest finish since 2003. This would be the greatest movement from 12th place since 1990 when Crossmen finished in 7th after a 12th place finish in 1989. Interesting note: Velvet Knights and Spirit of Atlanta also made 12->7 movement earlier in the 1980s. The only corps ever to improve greater than 12->6 was Blue Stars who went from 12 to 5 from 1973 to 1974. The Cadets would finish in 7th place, its lowest finish since 1981. This would mark the fifth year in a row for Blue Stars finishing as a finalist, the longest streak since leaving top 12 status in 1980 after having been a founding member of the DCI elite. This would mark the fourth year in a row for Crossmen finishing as a finalist, the longest streak since being knocked out of finals in 2005. The closest Mandarins have come to Top 12 was a 16th place finish in 2001.